The LA Galaxy won their fourth straight and remain undefeated since returning to California from the MLS Is Back Tournament.
For much of the first half, it didn’t appear that the Galaxy would be adding another win to their table as LAFC dominated the run of play. But all of that changed after halftime as the Galaxy cruised past their crosstown rivals, 3-0, at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Cristian Pavon and Sebastian Lletget were the goal scorers, but the hero of the first session was David Bingham. The Galaxy were continuously absorbing pressure during the first 45 minutes. LAFC didn’t have a ton of quality in the final third, but the Galaxy still relied on Bingham to bail them out time and time again, particularly on a 15th minute one-timer from Jose Cifuentes.
Pavon wasn’t as involved as he needed to be in the first half, though his touches started to pick up in the final ten minutes before intermission. One player who did make his mark early was Rolf Feltscher; he sent some nice balls into the mixer, including one leading cross to Ethan Zubak that Zubak skied over the crossbar near the end of the first half.
LAFC had the best chances early though, including one in the 36th minute when Diego Rossi was open in the box, but pushed his finish wide.
It seemed like an entirely different Galaxy team came out after the break. They earned a corner kick on the first possession of the second half, then were almost burned on the other end when Mark-Anthony Kaye beat an offside trap before Bingham corralled him to prevent Kaye from getting a shot off.
The Galaxy continued to push forward, and Emiliano Insua chipped the ball to Pavon on the left wing in the 51st minute. LAFC goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega made a poor decision to come off his line and try to beat Pavon to the ball, but Pavon comfortably chipped the ball over Sisniega to give the Galaxy their opening goal. That was the Galaxy’s first shot on target of the game, compared to seven for LAFC to that point.
From there, LAFC lost their composure. Kaye was given a red card two minutes later with a late tackle that took out Julian Araujo. Eddie Segura was also a little chippy, and he clearly applied an arm bar to Joe Corona right outside the box that the officials somehow missed.
The Galaxy, meanwhile, were just finding their stride, growing increasingly comfortably playing against ten men. The team earned another corner in the 71st minute off a Pavon shot in the box. That corner attempt led to a free kick, and the Galaxy caught LAFC off guard by sending numbers forward while Pavon played the ball back to Lletget, who doubled the advantage with a finish to the right side.
At that point, the two teams were playing out the string. The Galaxy continued to find openings in the LAFC defense, and had a fitting capper to the evening when Feltscher found Lletget for another score, this time on a pretty overhead kick. Feltscher had done good work throughout the game to put his teammates in position to score, and the assist reflected his contributions on the offensive end.
Everything’s turning up Galaxy these days, even on a night when they were completely outplayed for the entire first half.
Let us know what you thought of the team’s second straight El Trafico win.